Hear from the financial experts about how to capitalize on the gig economy
Hear from the financial experts about how to capitalize on the gig economy
(Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp.’s directors started a probe into Bill Gates’s alleged involvement with a female employee that was deemed inappropriate and decided that the co-founder had to step down from the board last year, Dow Jones reported, citing people familiar with the matter.The software giant had received a concern in 2019 that that Gates had tried to have an “intimate” relationship with an employee in 2000, Dow Jones cited a Microsoft spokesman as saying. The board reviewed the matter with the help of an outside law firm, the spokesman added.Board members handling the matter hired the law firm to conduct the investigation after receiving a letter from a Microsoft engineer who said she had a sexual relationship with Gates for years, Dow Jones said. Gates left before the probe was completed, it reported.A spokeswoman for billionaire was cited as saying that Gates’s decision to leave the board wasn’t related to an affair almost two decades ago that ended amicably. The departure from Microsoft’s board had to do with his interest in spending more time on his philanthropy.Representatives for Gates and Microsoft couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.Stock TransfersLast week, Cascade Investment, the investment company created by Gates, transferred stock in Deere & Co. to Melinda French Gates, bringing the total amount she’s received since they announced their divorce to more than $3 billion.Read More: Melinda Gates Tops $3 Billion From Cascade With Deere TransferThe investment vehicle transferred about 2.25 million shares worth about $851 million, according to a regulatory filing. That followed similar disclosures tied to Mexican companies Coca-Cola Femsa and Grupo Televisa and about $1.8 billion of stock in Canadian National Railway Co. and AutoNation Inc.The couple announced their divorce earlier this month after 27 years of marriage. The Gates fortune is valued at about $145 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.Read More: Gates Divorce Roils World’s Biggest Family Philanthropy Engine(Adds more details starting in the fifth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Singapore plans to close public schools this week and move to home-based learning, as a spike in unlinked cases poses the biggest challenge since last year in the city’s efforts to tackle the pandemic.The U.S.’s rolling one-week average of new virus cases fell to the lowest level since June. Any mandates in the U.S. to require people to be vaccinated against Covid-19 will be set at the local level by companies and institutions such as colleges, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.United Food and Commercial Workers, the union that represents more than 1 million food and retail employees, criticized the CDC’s guidance last week that fully vaccinated people could mostly stop wearing masks.Key Developments:Global Tracker: Cases pass 162.6 million; deaths exceed 3.37 millionVaccine Tracker: More than 1.45 billion doses have been givenCovid is airborne, scientists say. Now authorities think so, tooVaccine Shortfall Leaves Nations Vulnerable as Covid SpreadsCDC’s big mask change went from science to secret to surpriseThere’s no hidden U.S. vaccine stockpile ready to send abroadSubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on cases and deaths.Working From Home Will Cut London Office Footprint 15%: Deloitte (7:01 a.m. HK)The amount of central London office space companies need will fall by as much as 15% as people continue working from home even after coronavirus restrictions ease, according to a Deloitte survey.Developers anticipate that more flexible working patterns post-pandemic will result in less densely filled offices, so businesses will need less square footage, although this will be offset by reduced hot-desking and demand for more meeting space. Some large corporate tenants will shrink their office footprints by half, Deloitte said.About 85% of developers cited weak tenant demand as a major concern in the London office market. In particular, the survey found that the financial services sector was consolidating its office presence in central London while “considering how businesses and functions can be deployed outside the capital, supporting regional growth.”South Africa, Ghana Expand Vaccine Drives (5:12 p.m. NY)South Africa will start a mass vaccination effort Monday at 87 sites across the country using Pfizer Inc. doses administered to frontline health-care workers and the elderly, health minister Zweli Mkhize said Sunday.Ghana will begin administering doses from a second delivery of vaccines from the WHO-backed Covax facility starting May 19. Ghana received a batch of 350,000 AstraZeneca Plc vaccines. Priority will be given to those who already have a first shot, President Nana Akufo-Addo said in a television broadcast in the capital, Accra.Fauci Says Pandemic Revealed Racism (4:34 p.m. NY)President Joe Biden’s top medical adviser said the pandemic response had shown “the undeniable effects of racism” in the way the burden of the coronavirus fell more heavily on minority communities.“Covid-19 has shone a bright light on our own society’s failings,” Anthony Fauci said in a commencement speech to Emory University in Atlanta, by webcast from Washington.Minorities including Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans disproportionately work in jobs where they might be exposed to the coronavirus, and also tended to suffer more frequently from conditions such as diabetes or obesity that can make Covid more deadly, Fauci said.“Very few of these comorbidities have racial determinants,” Fauci said. “Almost all relate to the social determinants of health dating back to disadvantageous conditions that some people of color find themselves in from birth.”Cyclone Pauses Mumbai Vaccinations (3:50 p.m. NY)Mumbai canceled vaccinations Monday at all public sites after a cyclone warning, the municipality said on Twitter.Cyclone “Tauktae” is set to hit the western coast of India -- the country’s industrialized belt with big refineries and ports -- prompting authorities already grappling with a deadly second virus wave to start preparations for evacuating citizens. Local authorities in Mumbai have already moved hundreds of Covid-19 patients to other facilities.Frontline Workers’ Union Criticizes CDC (3:14 p.m. NY)United Food and Commercial Workers, the union that represents more than 1 million food and retail employees, praised the governors of New Jersey and Hawaii for maintaining stricter indoor mask rules.The union criticized guidance last week from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying fully vaccinated people could mostly stop wearing masks, though those rules can be overridden by localities. Union President Marc Perrone said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Hawaii Governor David Ige “are doing the right thing by keeping these life-saving mask mandates in place.”The union said that 462 frontline workers in the U.S., including in grocery stores and meatpacking plants, have died of Covid-19 and more than 93,000 were infected.California’s Deaths Double (2:25 p.m. NY)California’s deaths doubled to 55 from 27 the day before, with the fatalities still low at 0.1 deaths for every 100,000, based on the state’s seven-day average.The positive test rate dipped slightly to 1%, the health department’s website said. The state reported 1,370 Covid-19 cases yesterday, a rate of 3.3 new cases per 100,000, a decrease from the day before. California has administered more than 34.4 million vaccines in total.Singapore Faces Vaccine Delays (2 p.m. NY)Singapore may be facing slower vaccine deliveries over the next couple of months, as the country considers delaying second shots.Ho Ching, the wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, cited the scarcity in a Facebook post Sunday. “Yes, our vaccine deliveries are slow this month and possibly next 1-2 months,” said Ho, who is also the outgoing CEO of Singapore’s state-owned investor Temasek Holdings Pte.New Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said the government is studying holding off the second shots in order to give more people at least one vaccine dose.“There have been many international studies and it shows that even with one dose, it confers good protection without compromising efficacy,” Ong said. “Our scientists have been studying this.”Italy Daily Deaths Drop (12:46 p.m. NY)Italy recorded 93 coronavirus deaths on Sunday, the lowest count since late October. New infections were 5,753, close to the seven-month low registered last week. Italy has been accelerating its vaccination campaign to over 500,000 shots per day, and infections have continued falling even with the loosening of restrictions on the economy and social life.CDC Shuns Federal Vaccine Mandate (12:25 p.m. NY)Any mandates in the U.S. to require people to be vaccinated against Covid-19 will be set at the local level by companies and institutions such as colleges, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.“It may very well be that local businesses, local jurisdictions, will work towards vaccine mandates,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “That is going to be locally driven and not federally driven.”Separately, on “Fox News Sunday,” Walensky cited colleges or universities that may enforce vaccine mandates for students, and that the cruise ship industry may also consider it for people about to embark on multiday journeys at sea.Walensky spoke days after the CDC announced that Americans vaccinated against Covid-19 were clear to shed their face masks in public at most times.20 Million Fully Vaccinated in U.K. (12:16 p.m. NY)More than 20 million people, or 38% of the British adult population, are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, the government said Sunday. Over 36.5 million, or 69%, have had one dose. The U.K. will open inoculations to everyone 35 and older this week as it combats cases of a highly transmissible variant that originated in India. The country reported another 1,926 cases and four deaths on Sunday. Both figures are up about 9% over the last seven days.Hong Kong Tightens Travel Rules (10:55 a.m. NY)Hong Kong will increase restrictions on arrivals from Taiwan and Singapore, the South China Morning Post reports.Taiwan, Singapore and Japan are to be classified high risk according to the city’s vaccine bubble travel arrangements. Unvaccinated travelers arriving from those places will have to quarantine at designated hotels for 21 days as well as present proof of a negative test.Singapore Shuts Schools (7:59 a.m. NY)All primary, secondary, junior college and Millennia Institute students will shift to full home-based learning from May 19 till the end of the school term on May 28, Singapore’s Ministry of Education said on Sunday. Preschools and student care centers remain open to support parents who have to work.The city also plans to vaccinate under 16 year-olds after a recent rise of infections among students.U.S. Cases Now Fewest Since June (7:55 a.m. NY)The U.S. added slightly more than 30,000 cases on Saturday, sending the nation’s rolling one-week average to the lowest level since late last June, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.Even so, another 480 people died of illness related to Covid-19. That compares with peaks of more than 5,000 deaths a day in January and February.Amazon Sends More Oxygen to India (7:33 a.m. NY)Amazon.com Inc. and Indian renewable energy company Greenko Group are boosting supplies of oxygen concentrators to the country.The U.S. company is working with “sellers on its marketplace to help them bring in about 9,000 oxygen concentrators for customers in India,” it wrote in a blog on Saturday. The first batch of 1,000 oxygen concentrators have landed and are available for purchase while the rest are expected in the second half of May, it said.Taiwan Local Cases Hit Record (5:38 p.m. HK)Taiwan registered a record 206 new local cases on Sunday, after adding 180 infections the previous day. The country is racing to contain its worst outbreak of the coronavirus, while averting a full lockdown.Italy Vaccinations Cut Infections (5 p.m. HK)Covid-19 vaccines are highly effective even after the first dose, according to a large-scale study by Italy’s national health institute. Infections, hospitalizations and deaths all declined significantly about 14 days after the first shot. After 35 days, infections were 80% lower than among those who hadn’t received any dose, while hospitalizations were 90% lower and deaths 95% lower.More than 7 million Italians who had received at least one vaccine dose between Dec. 27 and April 4 were surveyed. Two-thirds were given the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, while 29% received AstraZeneca Plc’s shot.India Virus Cases Ease (1:50 p.m. HK)India reported 311,170 new infections Sunday, continuing the downward trajectory seen in the past few days, bolstering hopes that cases may have peaked after a deadly second wave that overwhelmed hospitals and crematoriums. The case tally has crossed 24.6 million, according to the India’s health ministry. More than 182 million vaccine doses have been administered.While the daily surge in cases is ebbing, there’s no let up in deaths with the Asian nation reporting 4,077 more casualties, pushing the total to 270,284. Those death toll numbers might be understated, according to local media reports of bodies floating along river banks in the northern states.The Dainik Bhaskar, a Hindi newspaper popular across India’s crowded heartland, fanned 30 of its reporters along the banks of the river Ganga in Uttar Pradesh state. They found -- and photographed -- more than 2,000 corpses across some 1,140 kilometers (708 miles). The state government claims only about 300 are dying daily.Their findings make grim reading: authorities are piling silt over more than 350 bodies lying in shallow graves in Kannauj, the reporters say; they see dogs gnawing at some of the 400 corpses just a short distance from a crematorium in Kanpur; they count 52 corpses floating down the river in Ghazipur, often crossing state borders.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Mitch Haniger hit two doubles and the Seattle Mariners snapped Shane Bieber’s record strikeout streak, beating the Cleveland Indians and their ace 3-2 on Sunday. Bieber (4-3) had fanned at least eight in 20 straight games, but the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner fell short with seven. The victory was Seattle’s third straight following a season-high five-game losing streak.
Lockdown relaxations continue on Monday.
AM Best has revised its market segment outlook to stable from negative for the South Korea non-life insurance industry, according to a new AM Best report.
Dom Nunez's passed ball allowed home the tying run in the ninth inning and Jordan Sheffield's wild pitch scored the go-ahead run, gifting the Cincinnati Reds a 7-6 win over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday. Colorado hit a batter in the ninth and botched a double play. Then the Rockies wasted a chance to retie the game by committing a baserunning blunder in the bottom half.
He had to endure a lengthy rain delay, but K.H. Lee picked up his first career win on the PGA Tour on Sunday.
MTV is bringing Behind The Music back this summer. Paramount announced the iconic music documentary series will premiere Thursday, July 29, exclusively on its streaming platform, Paramount+. The series will look into the careers of different artists and explore the hardships they encounter. The slate of featured artists is set to include Jennifer Lopez, LL […]
The Health Secretary insisted it was right to continue with the easing of restrictions despite concerns over the Indian coronavirus variant.
(Bloomberg) -- JD Logistics Inc., the delivery arm of e-commerce giant JD.com Inc., is seeking to raise as much as HK$26.4 billion ($3.4 billion) in its Hong Kong initial public offering, seizing on China’s online shopping boom sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.The warehousing and shipping company is selling 609.2 million shares at HK$39.36 to HK$43.36 each, according to statement published in the South China Morning Post. The company will start taking investor orders from Monday and is set to begin trading on May 28 in Hong Kong. The deal is expected to be priced on May 21, according to the terms of the IPO obtained by Bloomberg News. At $3.4 billion, JD Logistics would be the second-largest IPO in the city this year, after Kuaishou Technology’s $6.2 billion listing in February. Hong Kong has seen two other blockbuster JD.com-related offerings in the past 12 months, including online health-care unit JD Health International Inc.’s $4 billion IPO in December, as well as its own second listing in June, which raised $4.6 billion.JD Logistics’ first-time share sale comes as Hong Kong’s market shrugs off concerns over inflation. The city has hosted $20.5 billion worth of IPOs so far this year, nearly seven times the $3 billion raised in the same period in 2020, data compiled by Bloomberg show.Created in 2007 and set up as a standalone unit under JD.com a decade later, JD Logistics’ networks include both so-called last mile and longer distance lines, as well as cold chain and bulky item networks, according to its prospectus. It operated more than 900 warehouses across China as of the end of 2020.The logistics firm’s revenue climbed 47% in 2020 to 73.4 billion yuan, the prospectus shows. The company reported a net loss of 4.1 billion yuan last year, compared to 2.2 billion yuan in 2019. It plans to use the proceeds from the IPO to upgrade and expand its logistics networks, develop advanced technologies and to expand its customer base.JD Logistics has attracted seven cornerstone investors to its offering, who agreed to subscribe for about $1.53 billion of stock, according to the terms.The cornerstone investors are: SoftBank Vision Fund $600 millionTemasek Holdings Pte about $220 millionBlackstone Group Inc. $150 millionTiger Global $200 millionChina Chengtong Holdings Group Ltd. $160 millionMatthews Asia $100 millionOaktree Capital $100 millionBofA Securities Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Haitong International Securities Group Ltd. are joint sponsors for the listing.(Updates with details of cornerstone investors from term sheet.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photo GettyBachelor sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein gave Bill Gates advice on ending his marriage with Melinda after the Microsoft co-founder complained about her during a series of meetings at the money manager’s mansion, according to two people familiar with the situation.Gates used the gatherings at Epstein’s $77 million New York townhouse as an escape from what he told Epstein was a “toxic” marriage, a topic both men found humorous, a person who attended the meetings told The Daily Beast.The billionaire met Epstein dozens of times starting in 2011 and continuing through to 2014 mostly at the financier’s Manhattan home—a substantially higher number than has been previously reported. Their conversations took place years before Bill and Melinda Gates announced this month that they were splitting up.Gates, in turn, encouraged Epstein to rehabilitate his image in the media following his 2008 guilty plea for soliciting a minor for prostitution, and discussed Epstein becoming involved with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.The people familiar with the matter said Gates found freedom in Epstein’s lair, where he met a rotating cast of bold-faced names and discussed worldly issues in between rounds of jokes and gossip—a “men’s club” atmosphere that irritated Melinda.“[It’s] not an overstatement. Going to Jeffrey’s was a respite from his marriage. It was a way of getting away from Melinda,” one of the people who was at several of the meetings said, adding that Epstein and Gates “were very close.”A representative for Bill told The Daily Beast: “Your characterization of his meetings with Epstein and others about philanthropy is inaccurate, including who participated. Similarly, any claim that Gates spoke of his marriage or Melinda in a disparaging manner is false.” A representative for Melinda did not respond to a request for comment for this report.As The Daily Beast exclusively reported, Melinda Gates was furious over Bill’s relationship with Epstein, and was put off by the creepy financier upon meeting him in September 2013, after the couple accepted an award at a New York City hotel. Melinda’s anger, people familiar with the matter said, eventually led to the demise of Bill and Epstein’s friendship.The Wall Street Journal recently reported Melinda Gates consulted divorce lawyers in October 2019, around the time it was publicly revealed that Bill met with Epstein—who had died by suicide in jail months earlier—multiple times in the past.Melinda Gates Warned Bill About Jeffrey EpsteinOn May 3, the high-powered couple announced they were ending their 27-year marriage in a statement that read, in part: “We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this next life.” In her petition for divorce Melinda said her marriage is “irretrievably broken” and indicated the couple had settled on a plan to divide their vast assets outside the courtroom.Last week, the New York Post reported that Gates told his golfing buddies he was in a “loveless” marriage which “had been over for some time,” while People described Epstein as a “sore spot” in the couple’s relationship.But Epstein wasn’t the couple’s only point of contention. On Sunday, the New York Times reported that Gates allegedly made advances on women who worked at Microsoft and his foundation while he was married to Melinda. The Journal followed up with its own report, revealing that Gates resigned from Microsoft’s board in 2020 amid an internal investigation into an alleged sexual relationship with a company engineer, who came forward in late 2019. (“There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably,” a Gates spokeswoman told the Journal, adding that his departure from the board wasn’t related to the relationship.)People close to Bill Gates told The Daily Beast that the deterioration of their relationship could be seen in Bill and Melinda’s body language. The couple used to interact with “more laughter and ease,” said one friend of Bill, who added that eventually, “being around them was like arriving at a summit.”“It wasn’t like arriving at a dinner with a couple or something; it was more like two heads of state,” the friend added. “So that’s why Epstein could have been a factor [in their split], but was it the factor? That I fundamentally don’t believe.”The friend said the couple’s strictly regimented existence as billionaire philanthropists supplanted the more normal life and levity they enjoyed in younger years. “Bill is far less comfortable being out in the world,” the person said. “For Bill, it was just so rare he was allowed to do normal things, which I think he really craved.”To Bill, such “normal” things included meeting new people over dinner at Epstein’s home—a break from the tech mogul’s tightly choreographed schedule of events where he’d be seated at the head table with the most prominent guests.“Bill was embarrassed by the attention an entourage would have brought,” the person said. “His entourage was security, and he never looked comfortable with it. With Melinda, it was very imperious, ‘The Queen has arrived’ kind of thing.”Here’s What the Feds Found in Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan MansionGates may have visited Epstein, the person said, because Gates “enjoys talking and ideas and basically arguing with people, and he can be a really brutal person to argue with.”“He likes nothing better than to get together and debate or lecture people, or tell everyone what he’s doing with the polio vaccine. He has an ability, unlike any other person I’ve ever met, to lecture to a table of people without stopping for an hour.“Anyone that gave him a stage for a performance and said, ‘Bill, come talk to us about what you’re passionate about,’ that would be something he would enjoy.”Still, the person was surprised about the couple’s divorce announcement earlier this month: “I thought they would have made each other miserable for the rest of their lives.”Meanwhile, a former Gates Foundation employee told The Daily Beast that Gates wanted to get in the good graces of some of Epstein’s professional connections. “My understanding was he wasn’t hanging out with Epstein to get women,” the employee said.“Bill’s not amenable to anyone telling him what he should or shouldn’t do,” the person added. “If anyone were to say, ‘I don’t think you should hang out with [Epstein],’ it would have been Melinda.”The ex-employee said Bill and Melinda appeared to be distant and leading separate lives even more than a decade ago. “This has been going on a long time,” the source said, adding that Melinda was “bitter” and “wasn’t that into him.”“Their body language when they would be together, it was like a Melania and Donald thing: ‘Don’t hold my hand, get on the other side of the table,’” the person said, referring to reports of the former First Lady apparently yanking her hand from then-President Trump during public appearances over the years.Melinda Gates Called Divorce Lawyers in 2019 After Epstein Report: WSJAccording to the ex-employee, Melinda seemed to have a chip on her shoulder because “no one really did see her as an equal to Bill” and her work didn’t get as much media attention. “It really irritated her that people were more into Bill,” they said.Another former employee told The Daily Beast that Epstein was a topic of conversation among staff even in 2017—three years after the men’s friendship reportedly fizzled—because of concerns that Gates' previous ties to Epstein could harm his reputation.“When you work at the foundation, your whole job in life is to protect and preserve and build up the reputation of Bill and Melinda Gates,” the person said. “I think that’s why it still came up.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
It will be the All Blacks' first test against Fiji since thrashing the Pacific islanders 60-14 in Dunedin in 2011. The All Blacks last played Tonga in 2019 in a warmup prior to the World Cup in Japan, winning 92-7.
Adam Duvall hit a three-run homer and then threw out Mookie Betts at the plate during a busy fifth inning Sunday, and the Miami Marlins hung on for a 3-2 victory in their series finale with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Pablo López gave up seven hits and two runs over five innings in his first victory of the season for the Marlins, who won for just the third time in nine games. Miami got all of its offense from Duvall's second three-run homer in three days at Dodger Stadium.
Damaged power lines could see blackouts and water shortages, warn officials
(Reuters) -JD Logistics will price its shares between $HK39.36 and $HK43.36 each as the company aims to raise up to $3.4 billion, according to the company's filings, in one of Hong Kong's largest share sales in 2021. The logistics offshoot of JD.com Inc will sell 609.1 million shares in the deal which is 10% of the company's total shares, the filings said. At that size, JD Logistics will be one of the biggest deals in Hong Kong this year following the Kuaishou Technology IPO in late January which raised $5.4 billion.
"I actually have 21 of these glorious birds," Martha Stewart clarified
New construction starts have jumped by a fifth in the six months ended March to 3.1 million square feet, Deloitte's London Office Crane Survey showed, with 56% of the pipeline expected to involve an extensive upgrade of existing office stock. The city's developers anticipate new working patterns to reduce office demand on average by 10% to 15% in terms of square footage.
Israeli warplanes have unleashed a series of heavy airstrikes at several locations of Gaza City, as diplomatic efforts to end the conflict showed little sign of advancing. Explosions rocked the city from north to south for 10 minutes early Monday.The airstrikes were heavier, on a wider area and lasted longer than a series of air raids 24 hours earlier in which 42 Palestinians were killed. That attack was the deadliest single attack in the latest round of violence between Israel ad the Hamas militant group that rules Gaza.In a brief statement, the Israel Defense Forces says only that “IDF fighter jets are striking terror targets in the Gaza Strip.”The strikes came after the U.N. Security Council and Muslim nations convened emergency meetings Sunday to demand a stop to civilian bloodshed. President Joe Biden gave no signs of pressuring Israel to agree to an immediate cease-fire despite new calls from some Democrats for the Biden administration to get more involved. His ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, told an emergency high-level meeting of the Security Council that the United States was “working tirelessly through diplomatic channels” to stop the fighting.But as fighting in Israel and Gaza surged to its worst levels since 2014 and the international outcry grew, the Biden administration — determined to wrench U.S. foreign policy focus away from the Middle East and Afghanistan — showed no immediate sign of deepening its involvement. Diplomatic appeals by other countries for Hamas and Israel to stop their fire showed no sign of progress.Thomas-Greenfield warned that the return to armed conflict would only put a negotiated two-state solution to the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict even further out of reach. And in Israel, Hady Amr, a deputy assistant dispatched by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to try to de-escalate the crisis, met with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who thanked the U.S. for its support.Blinken himself headed out Sunday on an unrelated tour of Nordic countries. He made calls from the plane to Egypt and other nations working to broker a cease-fire, telling Egypt that all parties “should de-escalate tensions and bring a halt to the violence.”Rep. Adam Schiff, Democratic chairman of the House intelligence committee, on Sunday joined Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, in calling on Biden to step up pressure on both sides to end current fighting and revive talks to resolve Israel’s conflicts and flashpoints with the Palestinians.“I think the administration needs to push harder on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to stop the violence, bring about a cease-fire, end these hostilities, and get back to a process of trying to resolve this long-standing conflict,” Schiff, a California Democrat, told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”Biden administration officials have urged calm but said nothing publicly about prodding Israel immediately to go along with a push by Egypt and others for a cease-fire. Thomas-Greenfield said U.S. diplomats were engaging with Israel, Egypt and Qatar, along with the U.N.Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City flattened three buildings and killed at least 42 people Sunday, medics said, bringing the toll since Hamas and Israel opened their air and artillery battles to at least 188 killed in Gaza and eight in Israel. Some 55 children in Gaza and a 5-year-old boy in Israel were among the dead.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis in a televised address Sunday that Israel “wants to levy a heavy price” on Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers. That will “take time,” Netanyahu said, signaling the war would rage on for now.Representatives of Muslim nations met to demand Israel halt attacks that are killing Palestinian civilians in the crowded Gaza strip.The meeting of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation also saw Turkey and some others criticize a U.S.-backed push under which the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and other Islamic nations signed bilateral deals with Israel to normalize their relations, stepping over the wreckage of moribund international efforts to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians long-term.“The massacre of Palestinian children today follows the purported normalization,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said.At the virtual meeting of the Security Council, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the U.N. was actively engaging all parties for an immediate cease-fire. Returning to the scenes of Palestinian militant rocket fire and Israeli airstrikes in the fourth such war between Israel and Hamas, “only perpetuates the cycles of death, destruction and despair, and pushes farther to the horizon any hopes of coexistence and peace,” Guterres said.Eight foreign ministers spoke at the Security Council session, reflecting the seriousness of the conflict, with almost all urging an end to the fighting. Efforts by China, Norway and Tunisia to get the U.N.’s most powerful body to issue a statement, including a call for the cessation of hostilities, have been blocked so far by the United States, Israel’s closest ally. Diplomats say the U.S. is concerned it could interfere with diplomatic efforts to stop the violenceBiden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, had thrown U.S. support solidly behind Israel, enthusiastically welcoming Netanyahu as an ally in Trump’s focus on confronting Iran. Trump gave little time to efforts by past U.S. administrations to push peace accords between Israel and the Palestinians, instead encouraging and rewarding Arab nations that signed two-country normalizations deals with Israel.Biden, instead, calls Middle East and Central Asia conflicts a distraction from U.S. foreign policy priorities, including competition with China.He’s sought to calm some conflicts and extricate the U.S. from others, including ending U.S. military support for a Saudi-led war in Yemen, planning to pull U.S. troops from Afghanistan, and trying to return to a nuclear deal with Iran.Biden officials haven’t listed deeper Israel-Palestinian peace efforts at the top of their agenda.The problem won’t go away, said Tamara Cofman Wittes, a former deputy assistant secretary of state for the Middle East in the Obama administration.Current fighting “reveals how deeply unstable is the ‘status quo’ between Israelis and Palestinians, and how urgently a new political path is needed to move this conflict toward negotiated resolution,” she said.(FRANCE 24 with AP)
The new generation of BMW's smallest coupe will once again include 230i and M240i versions, both available with either rear- or all-wheel drive.
British businesses ramped up their search for new staff as pubs, restaurants and other hospitality and travel firms got ready for Monday's lifting of coronavirus restrictions in England, a survey showed. But an exodus of foreign workers is aggravating a shortage of candidates, with more than 10 jobs on offer for every job-seeker in some cities, according to the survey by job search website Adzuna. Job adverts on Adzuna jumped to 987,800 in the first week of May, up by 18% from the end of March, which was before the reopening of non-essential retailers and hospitality firms for outdoor service on April 12.